New! Magazine: Common Cold Myths
New! Magazine’s health section takes a look at the common cold. Dr Ross Perry was asked for his expert input on the myths about catching and curing colds in the feature:
‘Common cold myths busted’
The article suggested a series of myths surrounding the common cold including:
- Codes are only contagious before you show symptoms (false!)
- You need complete rest (wrong – exercise can be beneficial)
- Codes can be cured with antibiotics (actually they have no effect on a cold)
- A cold can turn into flu (although some symptoms may be similar, the flu is a different virus)
- Vitamin C prevents colds (no, although vitamin C tablets might help speed recovery)
New! Magazine turned to GP and founder of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, Dr Ross Perry, for some of the trickier myths.
MYTH? “Feeling cold can give you a cold”
Dr Ross Perry advises:
“You can only catch cold through coughs and sneezes. A cough expels about 20,000 viruses, which can potentially infect a number of people. Droplets remain in the air for up to 10 minutes and can survive for days on surfaces and items.”
Dr Perry advises:
- wash hands frequently
- cover mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing
- avoid sharing items such as towels or cups
MYTH? “Older people catch more colds”
Actually children are more vulnerable as they have built up less resistance. Dr Ross Perry explains:
“Children catch three times as many colds as adults – and those over 50 catch only half as many as teenagers. This is because older people will have been exposed to more colds in their lifetime, so they will have developed more antibodies to common cold viruses than younger people.”
MYTH? “Chicken soup cures colds”
Unfortunately it won’t cure the cold, but may help you feel better. Dr Ross Perry explains:
“Any hearty soup, not just chicken, will sped up the movement of mucus in your nose, simply because the heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow and allows the mucus to flush everything out thus helping with congestion.”
MYTH? “Going out with wet hair will give you a cold”
Dr Ross Perry says:
“Many people believe this along with the myth that the body’s heat is lost through the head. In fact, you lose just as much heat through a bare arm or leg.”
MYTH? “Green mucus is a sign of a chest infection”
Dr Ross Perry explains:
“The colour comes from white blood cells fighting the infection. With colds or flu, mucus starts clear, then begins to darken as it gets thicker. Coughing up mucus that is clear, yellow or even green can be a normal part of a viral cough.”
MYTH? “Feed a cold, starve a fever”
Actually eating regularly is important to your recovery. Dr Ross Perry comments:
“Eating fewer calories can make fighting off infection much harder. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids,rest and eat a well-balanced diet.”
Dr Ross Perry
Dr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors. The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.
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